Arlo|Smart Home Security|Wireless HD Security Cameras

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zincyellowcobra
Luminary
Luminary

I was hugely frustrated early on and super vocal here and on Best Buy site. I got quiet this week as my experience has greatly improved. I’ve backed off my earlier position that I would be returning the Ultra cams to Best Buy. The firmware updates released so far plus Arlo support stepping in to fix my subscription woes has improved my end user experience enough that I’ve refocused my energy from giving up on the Ultra altogether to charging forward with testing and comparing. 

 

Now that I have been able to work through the subscription glitch that inadvertently prevented 4K recording to the cloud, I have been able to continue my comparison of the Ultra cams to my Pro 2 cams and able to see benefits, improvements, cool new features. I have spent time this week Continuing the comparison of the Ultra cams to myPro 2 cams. The difference in video quality from Ultra 4K vs. Pro 2 1080p is amazing. Sound quality vastly improved. I was on the fence regarding value/benefit of the color night vision feature but have to say I now think it is pretty darn cool. I can now tell what color a suspicious car is as it drives down the street... I can tell what color my neighbor’s clothes are and even determine the color of their hair -AT NIGHT- as they walk their dog and/or jog down the street. Just think of the benefit in reporting crime to the police. If I capture the car on camera overnight, I can report the color of the car not just my guess on make/model. Improvements to video quality when recording in 4K at night also make the vehicle clear enough to feel confident of my determination of vehicle make/model even when driving by quite fast. Before it was a loose guess what type of car it was with 1080p much less the color with B&W night vision. The spotlight feature is really cool for color night vision especially when the object is within 10-20 feet of the camera. We had coyotes running around our yard Wednesday night (that’s an oddity where I live). I had turned off the spotlight feature for overnight recording on Wednesday night to test B&W night vision compared to my Pro 2 acmes. Man, I’m really disappointed I did that! The 180-degree FOV allowed me to see the coyotes running up and down my neighbors walkways and driveways so sent the videos to my two next door neighbors. They were blown away by my ability to pick up the activity at their house from my cameras - even asking what type of camera I had, where I puchased and what was the cost for cameras. I felt confident enough to say it was the Ultra cams with a couple of disclosures like new tech, working through some bugs and cost associated with the 4K cloud recording. Money saved not having to pay someone to install a camera system offsets costs for subscription in the short run. Ability to access local 4K recordings down the road with future updates just announced would give us ability to choose between paid 4K subscription vs no fee local 4K recordings easily accessed via the app.  Motion detection has improved and time for cam to start up when triggered has improved. Videos capture the activity much earlier than before.  I do have cams that miss an event all together with one particular cam being more problematic in that regard. I haven’t tested the zoom/track feature quite yet. Thinking today will be the day to activate that feature and test. 

 

How about the rest of you  -  any updated feedback? 

 

 

 

71 REPLIES 71
brh
Master
Master

The Pro2 add on camera is selling for $219 at Best Buy. I don't consider paying $299 for the Ultra add on camera with all its new features as money grubbing by Arlo. 

 

Brian

ChefJeff
Star
Star

@JamesC 

 

I still don’t see how these are classified as 4K. I downloaded a 14 second clip and the file size was less than 4Mb. I have still image pictures greater than that. When I can connect in 4K I get a display that is constantly washing out as in the example photo. 

 

All firmware is up to date, plenty of bandwidth available, plugged in, rebooted, etc...3C7F4C05-6DCD-405A-8378-58B704D469DE.png

brh
Master
Master

@ChefJeff 

Something is wrong here. My 4k videos are crystal clear. This looks like the problems that I had when I first got my Ultra system but firmware updates solved that for me. I will let JamesC handle this for you as I don't know if it is a hardware issue or not. Have you tried 1080p recordings and is this happening on more than one camera? Have you tried to power cycle your base?

 

Brian

brh
Master
Master

Here is a frame from one of my 4k videos.

 

Ultra4K_Snapshot.png

 

Brian

ChefJeff
Star
Star

Yeah, I am not close to that resolution. 

 

It happens on all of my cameras and I just tried power cycling again. Still have the issue. The issue does not happen in 1080p, but the attached photo is the quality I am now getting in 1080p. At least the 7 Mississippi lag is only 3 at 1080p. 

 

@brh If your car was a little further forward, could you zoom to the plates and read them

AA1880E8-7F21-4007-AEC5-3313C189AD74.jpeg

brh
Master
Master

@ChefJeff 

Let's see what JamesC has to say tomorrow. I hope he has an answer for you. Are you in the US? What is your upload speed? What is the signal strength of the cameras? You might try to pull one camera inside close to the base and see what happens then.

I wish I could upload the full sized image. The 4k resolution is great. Meanwhile if I can think of a solution to your problem I will post more.

 

Brian

ChefJeff
Star
Star

@brh 

 

Thanks. I am in the US, have an upload speed right now of 21 Mbps. The camera I am using for my example has a full strength signal as it is just a few feet from the base station. 

brh
Master
Master

@ChefJeff 

Ok, your upload speed is more than adequate. I am on the Spectrum Ultra plan - 400down and 24 up, so we should have similar speeds. Do you get the same problems when you use the web client? Have you looked at what channel your 2.4ghz is on? In my area that band is very crowded, so I put my router on channel 9 as it is the least crowded. You might want to try different channels, such as channel 1 or 11. I hesitate to ask you to do a complete factory reset and add everything back but that might solve the problem. Let's hold off on that until other avenues are explored. You might try to remove one camera and add it back in and see if that helps. One other thing is to move your base a little further from your router.

 

Brian

brh
Master
Master

@ChefJeff 

One final thing. Do you by any chance have a Micro SD card inserted into the base and if so, are the recordings corrupt there?

 

Brian

st_shaw
Master Master
Master

 


@ChefJeff wrote:

 

I still don’t see how these are classified as 4K. I downloaded a 14 second clip and the file size was less than 4Mb. I have still image pictures greater than that. When I can connect in 4K I get a display that is constantly washing out as in the example photo. 

 

All firmware is up to date, plenty of bandwidth available, plugged in, rebooted, etc...


There are still issues with 4K Live streaming.  I have the same problem.  Sign up for Premium Video Recording and you will get 4K motion recordings in the library. Download one of those 4K motion recording and look at that. It will be 4K resolution and will look significantly better than the 1080p.

 

The bitrate will only be about 5 Mbps on these videos, because the Ultra cameras are battery powered and cloud connected.  You cannot compare these 4K videos' size or quality to an iPhone, GoPro, or similar photography-quality video camera.

ChefJeff
Star
Star

@brh I do not have an SD card installed. Thanks for your troubleshooting ideas. 

 

@st_shaw The video I downloaded was using the 4K Premium Video recording. I have also bought a NAS and set up a Reolink 5MP (4K is 8MP) camera and the bitrate is set to a max of 4Mbps. The clarity in the 5MP camera blows the Ultra’s quality away. I really want to 

like the Ultras as I like the AI that distinguishes what type of motion was seen. 

st_shaw
Master Master
Master

 


@ChefJeff wrote:

 

@st_shaw The video I downloaded was using the 4K Premium Video recording. I have also bought a NAS and set up a Reolink 5MP (4K is 8MP) camera and the bitrate is set to a max of 4Mbps. The clarity in the 5MP camera blows the Ultra’s quality away. I really want to 

like the Ultras as I like the AI that distinguishes what type of motion was seen. 


The gray blotchy image you posted above is tagged 4K Live, so it is not a motion recording downloaded from the Arlo library.  Download a 4K motion recording from your Arlo library and look at that. You will find much better resolution and image quality than the 1080p Pro 2.

 

I have a 1080p Axis camera that blows away the Arlo Ultra as well.  It's not battery-powered and not cloud-connected either.  It consumes 8-10 watts of power.  It's a totally different class of prodcut from Arlo.  If image quality is your thing and you have a NAS then don't buy Arlo. There are cheaper/better options for you.

 

What model Reolink do you have?

ChefJeff
Star
Star

Yeah, two separate issues I guess. The 4K live is just that and the video I downloaded was from the library and not live. 

 

As for the Reolink, I am using the C2 Pro connected to a Synology NAS. I can view it remotely with great image quality. I like the convenience of Arlo and not trying to set my house up with PoE cameras though. Might just have to bite the bullet and install some switches if I am going to expect better image quality. 

AncientGeek
Hero
Hero

The best “wireless” connection is a wire.  Anytime I have the option to use a wire, there is no question.  Use a wire.  I place 8-port switches behind my larger TV locations, so I can plug in all of the TV related electronics directly.  When I built my house I used Arlo to monitor the build and immediately decided to run conduits from the house out to camera posts in various locations around the yard.  That allowed me to run Cat-6 to the poles and install various POE cameras that operate well below zero degrees F and never need a battery swap.  I like Arlo for what it is, but one size does not fit all.

JPC
Prodigy
Prodigy

@AncientGeek wrote:

The best “wireless” connection is a wire.  


lol.. You sure sound like a tech geek..  

prof57
Guide
Guide

Amazon sells arlo pro 2 for $162.99 and best buys always matches amazon prices.

brh
Master
Master

Yes, I purchased one of these not long ago at that price from Best Buy. Due to the Christmas season not selling electronics as expected, there are many deals out there as the retailers try to dump their inventories. I just purchased 2 sets of 3 Arlo Security Lights with an extra battery for about $162 each on Amazon. Now if I could just get a deal on the Ultras, LOL.

 

Brian

ItsPlayTime
Apprentice
Apprentice

@brh wrote:

Yes, I purchased one of these not long ago at that price from Best Buy. Due to the Christmas season not selling electronics as expected, there are many deals out there as the retailers try to dump their inventories. I just purchased 2 sets of 3 Arlo Security Lights with an extra battery for about $162 each at Best Buy. Now if I could just get a deal on the Ultras, LOL.

 

Brian


I just got a second set of the 4 pack of Ultras with the base station for $899.99 from my local Best Buy. I got a 10% off offer from Best buy & Arlo products were not on the extensive list of excluded items I was able to upgrade the 4 cameras that were Arlo Pros for the cost of three Ultras. I'm keeping the old base station for the alarm & 2 of the cameras to round out the 10 I can use with my subscription. I'm sending the other 2 cameras to my brother who is going to buy an Arlo Pro 2 three camera set.

brh
Master
Master

@ItsPlayTime 

Great!

I am not going so far as you, but I am donating all my original HD cameras and base to my daughter. I am still keeping my Pro cameras, though. The Best Buy stores all seem to have the 4 packs in stock but I am finding it difficult to purchase the Ultra add-on cameras. Last week I was able to snag two of them at a Best Buy that I seldom visit.

 

Brian

dt1785
Guide
Guide

I previously owned the Nest IQ Outdoor and after 7 months of nothing but dropped connections and lapse in recording footage, I finally got Nest to give me a refund after numerous replacements. I have been looking at a replacement outdoor camera and have been considering the Ultra 4K, especially because the field of view is 180 vs 130 on the Nest. This forum has been convincing me minus the setback of bugs and price (plus having to buy a $50 outdoor cable). I will say that Arlo communicates with customers and admits issues far more than Nest ever did with me, especially on this community.

JamSam
Apprentice
Apprentice
After a very rough start, I continue to be very happy with my Ultras. Biggest pain point right now is the lack of accessories because of the updated release date. But they have been very solid in terms of performance since the several updates.
AncientGeek
Hero
Hero

@dt1785 wrote:

I previously owned the Nest IQ Outdoor and after 7 months of nothing but dropped connections and lapse in recording footage, I finally got Nest to give me a refund after numerous replacements. I have been looking at a replacement outdoor camera and have been considering the Ultra 4K, especially because the field of view is 180 vs 130 on the Nest. This forum has been convincing me minus the setback of bugs and price (plus having to buy a $50 outdoor cable). I will say that Arlo communicates with customers and admits issues far more than Nest ever did with me, especially on this community.


As I often say here...all of the major camera systems have strengths, weaknesses and issues.  Nest set back the DropCam community about two years when they stopped supporting the DropCam app and forced us to use the inferior Nestcam app.  It was horrible.  I still use some Nestcams including the outdoor IQ which seems to work for me.  But they don’t support schedules and geofencing at the same time...pick one or the other...and it is harder to get a motion clip isolated and saved.  I do like their timeline UI for continuous video allowing effectively a time lapse view of the day by scrolling up and down...that’s nice.  And the IQs have great audio.  Very good volume.